From the Vault...


Mary J. Blige
"The Breakthrough"

© Geffen Records

Year of Release: 2005

track listing
  • No One Will Do
  • Enough Cryin'
  • About You
  • Be Without You
  • Gonna Breakthrough
  • Good Woman Down
  • Take Me As I Am
  • Baggage
  • Can't Hide From Luv
  • MJB Da MVP
  • Can't Get Enough
  • Ain't Really Love
  • I Found My Everything
  • Father In You
  • Alone
  • One
  • Show Love

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    Mary J. Blige
    "The Breakthrough"

    Mary J. Blige has made her debut on the WSVNRadio site this week; it's her seventh album of her career. The Breakthrough, released in 2005. Breakthrough is an overrated title. She had already made a name for herself by this time. Her career was already in full force. Defining her music as R&B, The Breakthrough defines just that. Is it Hip Hop? No. Howevver, her music (I'm sure) is currently played on Hip Hop formats. And sure, some of the songs on The Breakthrough could be defined as either R&B or Hip Hop. But, it still has more R&B. Mary J. Blige has proven herself as a music diva, and on The Breakthrough, the list of producers, and help from well-known music people are the highlights. And, for the good R&B flavors, they are here, and quite honestly, if there were more songs in this style, today's R&B and even Hip Hop could easily be accepted more. The Breakthrough, like many of her albums, reached #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

    Producers such as Dr. Dre, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and help in accomplishing song themes of heartache and hurt. These songs were results of some very impressive R&B, Hip Hop and Soul music for Mary J. Blige. Among the popular producers are popular musical artists to help on her out on songs: Brook Lynn,, Nina Simone, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Raphael Saadiq, Dave Young, and Bono.

    The album begins, with a good R&B track, entitled "No One Will Do." The R&B continues with "Enough Cryin' (With Brook Lynn); two songs that another well-known and popular artist style has its style, that popular artists is Beyonce. Both R&B and Hip Hop has "About You," as producer/rapper, and Nina Simone provide vocals, with Mary J.

    "Be Without You" was one of the singles from this album; the others were: "MJB Da MVP," "Enough Cryin'," "One," and "Take Me As I Am." "Be Without You" was the second single. It is easy to hear how this is a great R&B song, and for Mary J. Blige. Even the next song is a good one - "Gonna Break Through" (with Brook Lynn). It's an upbeat, good track, with an R&B/Hip Hop mix. The next two songs also has the R&B/Hip Hop mix - "Good Woman Down" and "Take Me As I Am."

    Don't let the title of the next track fool you - "Baggage" is a good and groovin' R&B track. Jay-Z helps out on the next track, "Can't Hide From Luv," it's upbeat, and funy'ish. One of the singles is next, "MJB Da MVP," with guest rapper 50 Cent. It's another good R&B track, and "Can't Get Enough" is also another GOOD R&B. Smooooth defines "Ain't Really Love," ANOTHER good R&B.

    The Breakthrough gets even better... "I Found My Everything" is soulful R&B. Raphael Saadiq helps out on this one. More Soul continues, with "Father In You." And introducing a new singer, Dave Young, helps out on another good R&B track, "Alone." The next track is a remake, of U2's "One," and Bono, the lead singer of U2, helps out. This version is a bit different than its original. Yet the original is better, Mary J. Blige's take on this U2 classic sets her own style of R&B to it. There is a hidden track next - Show Love," as it has very Hip Hop feel to its R&B. In fact, it sounds familiar with Nelly's #1 hit, "Hot In Herre."

    As for the title of The Breakthrough, Mary J. Blige was far from it, and this point in her career. Maybe the themes of heartache and hurt flow through the lyric content of the album, she would give her fans a "breakthrough" of her song themes and cope with the song themes. Were they personal lyrics from her own life? If so, the "breakthrough" from it is heard, on this album.

    "Breakthrough" or not, Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough is a good R&B album. Having it's hip hop touches have their moments. Yet, the actual R&B sound makes the album. If more of this particular style was heard in many of today's R&B/Hip Hop albums, I think, it would accomplish more positive and better reviews. Instead, we hear of themes of violence, sex, and negative characters of social life. (Ahem, the "WAP" song? Enough said. Although, the group 2 Live Crew had their negativite sexual lyrics too, yet today's negative lyrics are quite more vulgar. And Nelly? "Take off all your clothes..." Somethings never change.)

    Regardless of that, the R&B heard on The Breakthrough makes the album. The Hip Hop touches are not bad either. The Breakthrough proves that Mary J. Blige's music is what today's R&B should sound like. More of her albums will be reviewed at later dates. We'll see if the "good R&B" of The Breakthrough continues, on those future albums, by Mary J. Blige. That would be a "breakthrough," from what we know of, from today's "negativity" of today's R&B, Hip Hop, and Rap.

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    Previous Review: #1767
    Grandmaster Flash--Message From The Street-The Best Of
    Next Review: #1769
    Arcade Fire--The Suburbs